Marks & Spencer (M&S) has been named as the best retailer for storytelling, ahead of Aldi, Ikea and Tesco.

Creative agency Aesop asked consumers in the UK to rate brands against various criteria, such as their ability to elicit an emotional response and having a sense of authenticity.

M&S came out on top, with the brand being rated especially highly for generating emotions.

Ed Woodcock, Director of Narrative at Aesop, said the company has risen up the rankings in recent years, because it has been investing in telling its brand story.

“In these uncertain times, long-trusted and authentic brands like M&S benefit,” he commented.

“The ‘Spend It Well’ campaign has a clear message about grabbing life with both hands, which consumers have responded well to”.

Mr Woodcock also noted that M&S tells a consistent story both internally and to its customers, which in turn establishes a sense of credibility.

Indeed, he said this brand consistency has helped it develop a sense of purpose around what the brand is for and what it stands against.

Mr Woodcock went on to state that this is “reflected often in the attitudes of employees, which people pick up on.”

“Internal culture built around the purpose of an organisation gives employees motivation to perform well and consumers notice that,” he added.

M&S is the UK’s top storytelling retailer Marketing Week